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Feng Shui

Feng Shui
"Parade of Homes" Stone Pond in North Carolina wins 4 Awards for Best Product Design for a Home over 4,000 sq.ft., Best Product Design for a Parade Home over 4,000 sq.ft., Best Merchandising over 4,000 sq.ft., and Best Landscape Design.

I came across this blog, and wanted to share it with you all. I need to give credit here, where credit is due:

This post, contributed by Maureen K. Calamia, is part of our Designer Guest Series that features guest posts from talented interior designers and unique design product brands. Ms. Calamia is a Feng Shui consultant, author, speaker, and teacher. She works with clients to create spaces to enhance well-being by using concepts of environmental psychology and biophilia. For more on Maureen, see the full bio at the end of this article.

Interior design is significant in our lives for two reasons:

1) We now spend 90% of our days in indoor environments; and

2) Research proves that our environments have a significant impact on our behavior and well-being.

This is probably why there is an increasing interest in Feng Shui principles. The Four Basic Principles of Feng Shui There are 4 basic principles of Feng Shui. They include:

  1. Nature
  2. The Concept of Ch’i
  3. Yin and Yang
  4. The 5 Natural Elements

Basic Principle #1: Nature

First and foremost in Feng Shui is connection with the natural world. We accomplish this connection through acknowledgement of room orientation, proportions, window views and daylight. In addition, incorporating natural materials, textures, and colors help us re-connect to nature in our spaces. This is also where green design comes in. Filling our rooms with earth-friendly, organic, non-toxic fabrics and materials contributes to living in harmony with nature and is human-friendly as well.

This kitchen feels connected to nature.


Basic Principle #2: Ch'i

Ch’i is also known as life force energy and inhabits everything in our universe. When describing a room or building, such as bright, inviting, boring or stale, we are describing the ch’i of the space. Ch’i needs to flow in a meandering way through a room and building. Ch’i that stops flowing is stagnant and contributes to blocks in your life. Ch’i that moves to too fast causes chaos and stress in your life. Gently flowing ch’i is the primary objective of Feng Shui.

Basic Principle #3: Yin and Yang

Yin and yang are complementary opposites. Dark and light, hard and soft, quiet and loud and examples of yin and yang in a space. Interior designers often intuitively bring a balance of yin and yang into the design of a room. Area rugs to balance hard floors, lighting to balance dark spaces, window treatments to soften the hard angles of a window – these are all ways we work with balancing yin and yang in a room.

Yin and yang are represented well in this living room


Basic Principle #4: The 5 Natural Elements

Most designers that I have taught really love the idea of harmonizing the five natural elements. The five elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The “Five Element Theory” contains a creative cycle as well as a controlling cycle where each element is supported by another, and each element is controlled (or subdued) by another. The five elements are represented by material, shape, and color, as well as natural symbols.

The Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water


Feng Shui As Interior Design

The basic principles of Feng Shui are found in Chinese philosophy and permeate the culture as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and herbology) and martial arts. Chi, yin and yang, and the five elements explain the underlying structure of the universe and the dynamics of change and life. Feng Shui can be mundane as well as spiritually-moving. Moving the positioning of someone’s bed to optimize their health as well as helping them identify how the clutter around them connects to stagnation and blocks in their life. Studying Feng Shui is a life-long journey for me and brings me great rewards in helping my clients improve their lives as well as their living spaces.

Maureen K. Calamia | Luminous Spaces | BBA, CFSP, BBP Maureen works with commercial and residential clients to create spaces to enhance and maintain well-being through working with new structures, renovations, or just looking for low-cost solutions to enhance their current space. She uses concepts of environmental psychology and biophilia in her work to inspire balance and joy by re-establishing a connection to the nature. She is currently writing a book on the Human-Nature Connection. Featured on News12 Long Island, speaker in Las Vegas for interior design national conference, Huffington Post blogger, Faculty of the Feng Shui Certificate Training program and online courses. Certified Feng Shui and Building Biology Practitioner. Board member of the International Feng Shui Guild and Sweetbriar Nature Center. Contact her for a free assessment of your project.  Sign up at for her monthly enewsletter, and latest Feng Shui Report Photos: courtesy of

Posted by Krista Eliason / on Monday, May 07, 2012

Last week, I had the pleasure of chatting virtually with with Boston interior designer Sally Wilson of Wilson Kelsey Design. Wilson Kelsey Design is an award winning residential and commercial interior design company co-owned by Sally Wilson and her husband, John Kelsey. In our interview, Sally discusses how she got her start, where her inspiration comes from, advice for new designers, and more!

Sally, Can you tell us why you became an interior designer? When I found myself at a secretarial position after graduating from college with an English Literature degree, I had to sit back and take stock of my situation. I knew I couldn't survive long as a secretary! I did some career exploration and talent assessments and came to understand that I had to be in a field where I could be creative. As I investigated a few fields (such as art gallery ownership and journalism) the career of interior designer came out on top. I went back to school for a second degree and studied architecture and interiors.

Wilson Kelsey Design Interior on Comm Ave

And can you tell us more about how you got your start? I’m a big believer in study and education, so I knew I wanted a full degree in interior design before going out there and trying to be an expert. So, after 4 years at an architectural college I graduated magna cum laude and started with a local architectural firm as their sole interior designer. They did a lot of schools and office buildings. I became creative with tile! I also worked on an Inn, for which I did custom wrought iron designs in the New Orleans manner. That was quite an interesting start. I was only there one year while my husband finished his PhD, and then we move to Boston. I set my sights on working for a big, famous firm, either in interiors solely, or architecture and interiors. I felt I would learn more of the essential construction details in a corporate setting than I would in a residential firm. And those skills I could take with me into anything I wanted to do in the future. I landed a position with a firm that was named Hugh Stubbins and Associates at that time. My first job with them was doing the New England headquarters for the Prudential Insurance Corporation. My boss was a great mentor.

Wilson Kelsey Design Interior of Beach House Game Room

Where do you get your inspiration? From drawing. When you are trained with sketching it allows you to “see” a space when you are drawing it. I find that ideas come to me when I am sketching that might not have come to me if I was just sitting back and "thinking." You are accessing your brain in a different way. But I’m a firm believer that "design is thinking." It’s just that you can think so much better with a pencil!


Wilson Kelsey Design Interior for Design Show 2011

What design tools can you absolutely not live without? A pencil, naturally, and mathematics. Design involves a lot of numbers and accuracy, geometry and such. Otherwise, color and fabrics are probably two of my signatures. I love being adventurous with them.

Wilson Kelsey Design Interior of Pride's Crossing Sitting Room

On that note, what hot trend are you loving right now? I have always avoided trends, because I like my designs to be there for the long haul. I like things people won’t get tired of. The only time I even think of trends is when I know a space has a limited life span - like a 5 year lease, or a family that will only live somewhere for three years. Then I think the sky is the limit, because the long term is not in the program as a requirement.

Wilson Kelsey Design Interior of Sullivan Living Room

What advice would you give to up and coming interior designers? For up and coming designers: keep studying throughout your life and never think you know it all. Contain your ego and don’t fall in love with your own designs. Be flexible. Think of 7 different ways of doing a space, knowing 6 of those solutions will go in the waste can. That’s creativity. The best idea rises to the top. Great advice.

What else? For people who think they want to BE a designer: Think not twice, but 4 times! HGTV has made it look easy, cheap and fun. Real creativity and handling the public (your clients) has never been easy, cheap, and totally fun. It is difficult, demanding work, and only the really, really good people survive. Don’t skip school because you think you have "the touch." You'll learn things in the critique process of studio teaching that you won’t even know to ask yourself if you are on your own.

Sally Wilson, ASID, is the co-owner of Wilson Kelsey Design in the Boston area. She has been an active designer for 30 years, working in both the commercial sector and residential sector. Her work is noted for its attention to detail and thoughtful layering of ideas, individualized for each client’s personality. She and her husband, who is her design partner, are both known for their ability to anticipate and intuitively understand their clients’ needs and desires. They work wherever their clients are.
Posted by Krista Eliason / on Sunday, February 26, 2012

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